70 Percent of Operators Are Now Behind Immediate LTE Expansion

Operators are quickly warming up to 4G LTE and backing its expansion in the coming years.

Global momentum behind 4G/ LTE is set to accelerate with the majority of operators planning to launch LTE services this year or next, shows new survey by Informa Telecoms & Media.

Almost 60% of operators stated that they will launch 4G services this year (33.7%) or next (24.9%), while the vast majority – 70.5% – believe there is a viable business case to launch 4G today.

“The survey shows that the main reasons operators are launching LTE is to create new revenue streams (34.7%); to increase capacity to offer mobile broadband services (23.3%); and to build brand value through technology leadership (31.3%),” the report reads.

“Because LTE technology, at the moment at least, is an extension of the mobile broadband experience, initial evidence suggests that mobile users aren’t prepared to pay a significant premium for LTE access,” says Paul Lambert, Senior Analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media.

“Most of the operators that have been successful in signing up LTE subscribers have decided not to charge a premium for 4G access, but instead are bundling it into existing data plans. When operators have done this,” he adds, “and effectively communicated the benefits 4G offers, market reaction has been very positive. This indicates that 4G should, in the first instance at least, be seen as a way to improve the overall mobile broadband experience rather than as a way to generate “new revenues.”